Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Mon 5th Nov, 2007

Open Source Weaving

In a recent trip to Canada I spend some time on Cape Breton Island at the correctly spelled Celtic Colours festival. They have a great series of concerts, but also a huge program of community and educational events which make it a great way to see the island. I didn't involve myself in the two-day weaving workshop, which I now partly regret as I've always been a textile enthusiast. A little-known fact about me is that I can spin, knit, and weave on an inkle, card or two-shaft table loom - one of Kate's prized possessions is a beanie that I knitted from wool I'd spun myself. Apart from the workshop, however, there were several gallery showings, open days and craft exhibitions where I got to see people weaving.

This rekindled my interest in weaving, especially after seeing the overshot woven coverlets popular there. My first thought was "when I get back, I should buy a loom." My second thought, when my woodworking side kicked in, was "no, I'll build a loom!" I asked around some people at the ACT Woodcraft Guild if they knew of plans for a loom; their response was "Google should have it!" But my Google-fu is not as good as it could be: I can find plenty of plans for sale but no free plans online. My next step is to go along to a meeting of the Canberra Spinners and Weavers and see if they have any books on building looms, or people who wouldn't mind me documenting how their own loom was built, and searching through the books and magazines at the Woodcraft guild. Then I intend to post documentation online and make it available under an open documentation license of some sort.

I also dug out my piles of cotton thread and old card weaving frame made years ago, with the intent to weave myself a better belt than my previous effort - in fact, my first effort, which is the one I still use for holding up my woodwork pants. I might also try to teach my nieces how to do card weaving - I've already given one set an inkle loom, but that didn't seem to grab their attention...

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